Tag: health

Buddhism and Health

Buddhism and Health

This is a summary of a workshop discussion on Buddhism and Health that was conducted at the WACANA 2011 in Nalanda Buddhist Society yesterday. The emphasis for this year’s WACANA is on familiarising ourselves with the Buddha Words, ie. the suttas in particular and the tipitaka in general.

1. Definition of Health
Health is defined as physical and mental wellbeing since a human being is made up of a physical body (rupa) and mind (nama). Mind here includes emotional health.

2. Buddhists’ Attitude towards Health
In the Dhammapada v. 204 as well as in Sukkhavagga (Dhp XV), it is said that “health is the greatest gift and contentment is the greatest wealth”. Health is therefore of primary importance for a Buddhist as a healthy body is the ideal vehicle to support our cultivation of the mind. Thus, physical health should not be neglected.

In the Magandiya Sutta (MN75), the Buddha pointed out that “even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted”. This shows that it is possible to attain and have equanimity in our mind despite the presence of physical pain. In other words, physical pain may be unavoidable but mental suffering is optional, depending on how well we have cultivated our mind.